We’d like to introduce you to Bernice Hobson, a Disney fan who is also madly in love with Efteling, the oldest park in the Netherlands (located in the municipality of Loon op Zand). Today, Bernice shares her favorite attraction in the park, Dream Flight. It’s a delightful bit of fantasy that we’re sure you’ll enjoy.
With so many wonderful things to see and do in Efteling, you may want to take note of the best bits before your visit. High on your list of ‘must-dos’ is this gem…
So, what is this jewel in Efteling’s crown? Of course, everyone has their own views on the good and bad in a theme park, especially when it comes to rides. But Dream Flight (Droomvlucht) has remained a firm favorite with guests since it opened in 1993. Inside the attraction, you are taken on an adventurous journey through forests, swamps, and floating castles, which are inhabited by elves, fairies, trolls and many other woodland creatures.
The ride is divided into different realms: the Castle Realm, the Wondrous/Miracle Forest, the Fairy Garden, Heavenly Strongholds, and the Squelch Forest. The transportation system consists of ride vehicles suspended from an overhead track, therefore giving the effect of flight. If you are familiar with Disney’s Haunted Mansion, you will notice the striking resemblance of these carriages to ‘Doom Buggies’.
Guests are first taken through the Castle Realm, seeing, from a distance, charming fairy tale castles which appear to be moving ever so slightly…After passing through a corridor you find yourself in the Wondrous Forest, full of flowers, trees, plants, deer, elves and even a few fairies. Keep an eye out in this part of the ride, as you may even see an elf taking a shower! Also keep a lookout for a unicorn and a disappearing/reappearing fairy. After moving along a dark corridor, the Fairy Garden is revealed. Thousands of flowers adorn the scene which is home to a number of beautiful fairies and animals, with a fairy house taking center stage. Down below, fairies bathe their feet in the small lake. The smell in this scene is wonderfully fresh, and floral. On leaving this scene you will receive a wave goodbye from King Oberon, who cheerfully sits on his throne (and is usually missing a shoe).
Then, through the star tunnel you go, moving on to the Heavenly Strongholds. Here, you will feel as though you have been transported to outer space, passing by floating castles and planets against a backdrop of numerous stars. From here, you pay a visit to the Squelch Forest, where the Trolls live. Of course, you just dropped in from the stars, so you have landed high in the treetops! It is dark here, mysterious, and damp, the perfect habitat for trolls. One of the trolls is so happy about his home (you call tell by his screams of joy) that he is swinging from a vine, doing his best Tarzan impression. Suddenly, your carriage starts to descend, slowly at first but quickly speeding up as you circle the trolls who are bathing below in a misty pool. Leaving the Squelch Forest indicates that it is time to leave this wonderful place, and there are trolls and fairies on hand to wave you off as you pass through a veil of mist. You have now woken up from your Dream Flight!
Dream Flight was the brain child of Ton van de Ven, who was involved in many attractions at Efteling before his retirement in 2002, including Spookslot, Villa Volta and the Laaf Village. Almost all of the attraction was created in-house at the Efteling workshops. The attraction was originally planned to open in Efteling’s 40th year in 1992, however there were setbacks with the transportation system which caused it to open a year later in 1993. In its first few years, visitors were greeted with a very ornate queuing area, complete with oversize versions of the ride’s signature flowers. This room eventually proved too small for such a popular attraction, and in 1996, when guests started turning up in the thousands, the line was moved elsewhere. The original room is now used for special events. The queuing area which is now used is rather huge! Some of it is outside, and some is undercover. At a time when the ride was reaching the height of its popularity, Efteling realized that the long wait for this ride in a basically empty room would prove rather boring for park guests. With this in mind, a stage was used to allow performances to take place of Droomvlucht inspired songs at the end of the room, keeping guests entertained in the tedious queue. They even sold a CD called Dromen, as a tie-in to the attraction. More recently, the queue has been given some much needed attention, and a few extras have been added to keep it more in line with the theming of the ride.
The music is by Ruud Bos, who also composed the music for Fata Morgana, Vogel Rok and Villa Volta. It has come to be expected over the years that the music for Efteling’s attractions is of a very high standard, and the music in the Dream Flight is no different, it is beautiful!
The following excellent video is from vijfzintuigennl on YouTube:
If you are visiting Efteling, Dream Flight is not to be missed!
Visit eftelinguk.com for more information on Efteling.